If you only do one thing while your kids are home, make it this.
Introduce each child to a new age-appropriate life skill that they haven’t tried yet.
This is the perfect opportunity, while you have extra time together. They don’t have to master the skill just yet. But get the ball rolling by introducing them to it, guiding them through it, and having them practice.
Here are some examples:
- Teach Your Kids How and Why to Declutter
- The Age-By-Age Guide to Teaching Kids How to Do Laundry
- Help Your Young Child Feel at Ease When Greeting People
- Teach Your Kids Good Table Manners
- Start Developing the Skill of Time Management
This is a simple way to invest in a child’s future. Whether they’re 5 or 15, there is always something more to learn that will better equip them for life.
Enjoy fun, simple activities with a purpose
Everyone, kids included, needs some mindless downtime. But balance it with fun activities that are productive and educational.
Your kitchen is ground zero for many, many ways to keep kids busy. Cooking, baking, even experimenting, are all things that kids love to do. Plus, the rest of the family gets to enjoy the results.
- Make ice cream in a plastic bag with a few ingredients and some good old-fashioned muscle.
- 10 favorite cookies for baking with kids, from a top recipe blog.
- 48 no-bake recipes for kids, including sweets, snacks, and easy main course dishes.
- Teach your kids a simple recipe to create countless types of sandwiches (includes free printable).
- Make butter in a jar from nothing but cream.
- Paint food with edible milk paint.
More Resources to Explore
Crafts & Creative Projects
Picking a project with a purpose adds extra motivation to an activity. If you have a plan for what you’re creating, there’s a great sense of accomplishment involved.
- Create a printable board game and play it as a family.
- Make cute seed bird feeders, then hang them outside and see what they attract.
- Mix up some DIY scratch ‘n sniff paint with only 3 ingredients.
- Have each child make a mini memory scrapbook to remember these days at home as a keepsake.
- Make a pop-up greeting card (younger kids|older kids) and mail to a special friend or relative, just because.
- Create a t-shirt friendship bracelet to give a bestie.
More Resources to Explore
STEM & STEAM Activities
The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways you can introduce STEAM concepts.
- Build a geodesic dome with straws and pipe cleaners.
- Get creative with a LEGO Challenge.
- Try a STEM Challenge
- Play an ASCII Binary Code Puzzle Game
- Build a 2-Stage Balloon Rocket
- Make a tie dye with Sharpies
Play games & puzzles that sharpen thinking skills
Board games can be great for developing thinking skills. But they’re not the only games in town. Here are some ways to strengthen your child’s logic, problem-solving, and reasoning abilities while they have a good time.
- Play fun dice games that build math skills.
- Use storytelling prompts and have the kids each add their own chapter to an original story.
- Solve the crime with this free detective puzzle printable.
- Download a Secret Agent Pretend Play Packet and have kids enjoy the afternoon as spies.
- Break the code or try another challenge on the CIA website.
- Work that thinker with logic puzzles.
- Choose from easy card games you can play with a traditional deck.
Watch media that makes a difference
There is so much good ‘stuff’ out there in cyberspace, including great educational resources that previous generations of learners couldn’t even imagine. Take advantage of it and give your kids some ‘real world’ experiences.
- Documentaries for Kids
- Free Audiobooks for Kids
- Museums with Virtual Tours
- Live Animal Cams
- Live Science Cams
- Online Scavenger Hunts
- Virtual Field Trips
- More Virtual Field Trips
- 101 Family-Friendly Movies
Whatever the reason that you’re housebound with your kids for an extended time, think of the silver lining.
It’s an opportunity, and you don’t have to do anything elaborate to make the most of it. Just pick an idea that sounds good and get your kids involved.
I hope the ideas you find here will create some great memories. And I hope these simple activities will plant seeds that will blossom for your kids.